Yesterday’s setback for Speaker John Boehner on a continuing resolution to fund the government shows what little real control Boehner has over his caucus. With 242 members, Boehner has the ability to pass any legislation he wants without Democratic crossover votes – and in this case he got 6 Democratic crossovers. He has a good deal of power at his disposal to threaten Congressmen, to tell them their legislation will never see the light of day, to withhold needed campaign support, to knock them off committee assignments. He did all this and more yesterday. And he still could not budge the more conservative members of his party.
|By: David Dayen Thursday September 22, 2011 12:00 pm|
|By: David Dayen Tuesday September 20, 2011 3:20 pm|
What the Republicans are doing is saying that a natural disaster must cause government accounts to drop. It assumes there’s a finite amount of money available for spending, and if a hurricane blows through your house, someone else, in this case hybrid vehicle manufacturers, have to pay for it. Now, the Chevy Volt had nothing to do with the hurricane. But they’re bearing the burden for rebuilding after the storm.
This is completely unprecedented in the history of the nation and defies common sense; that’s why Reid is fighting it, to make sure it doesn’t become a new normal.
|By: David Dayen Friday September 16, 2011 6:11 am|
Last night, it didn’t look as if the Senate would be able to get the clean extension of both the FAA authorization and the surface transportation authorization before a deadline of today. Tom Coburn was holding up the bill in a fruitless crusade against bike paths. It’s a long story.
|By: David Dayen Thursday September 15, 2011 9:45 am|
The attempt to meet looming deadlines and avoid shutdowns of part (or all) of the government resembles the aftermath of a car wreck right now. It’s unclear whether the Senate can move the broken-down vehicles off the road in time to let the traffic move through.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday September 14, 2011 5:27 pm|
The fact that Schumer took this to the floor means that he obviously sees political opportunity here, but also that this is not a fanciful notion. We really could have another government shutdown threat on our hands.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday September 13, 2011 1:25 pm|
It was only a matter of time that the Republicans’ newfound desire to lower the volume and not take hostages to achieve their aims would fall apart. We apparently have gotten through the FAA authorization extension, the surface transportation extension, and the debt limit vote without incident, but things are starting to break down. John Boehner is looking to hold back some reserve of funds for the FY 2012 budget, in order to force policy changes:
|By: Blue Texan Tuesday September 6, 2011 10:30 am|
Obviously, the Secessionist doesn’t understand that if the federal government helps Texas now, there would be no incentive for other states to avoid wildfires.
|By: Peterr Saturday September 3, 2011 9:00 am|
While most of the media watches the terrible flood waters spawned by Irene begin to recede, and wonders about Tropical Storm Lee’s rain around New Orleans, those of us along the Missouri River continue to deal with record flooding. It’s been over two months since portions of Interstate 29 in NW Missouri were closed, and they’re still under water.
Iowa Republican Congressman Tom Latham came back and viewed the damage in Council Bluffs, and was surprised by what he saw.
It’s no surprise to those of us along the river, Congressman. We’ve been looking at it all summer, and we’re just hoping it’s gone by Halloween.
|By: David Dayen Friday September 2, 2011 12:26 pm|
The White House has requested $5.2 billion in disaster relief funds, a number that does not include damages caused by Hurricane Irene last week. Because of a provision tucked into the debt limit deal, Congress can go beyond the self-imposed spending cap by up to $11 billion for disaster relief, without offsets. So far, they have requested the $5.2 billion.
|By: David Dayen Thursday September 1, 2011 7:12 pm|
The fight over whether to offset emergency spending on disaster relief, as Eric Cantor wants, could end up being the most interesting upcoming battle in Congress. The lines aren’t drawn in an entirely partisan way on this one. In particular, Republican Governors in the states affected want to see that disaster relief, and don’t care about offsets.